See Jr. March

Has Dad looked up train schedules, prices, and the like yet? I guess I better see about it on this end Sat. I wish I knew when we could leave. I hate to have to come back so doggone soon. We hear there will be a review on the last Sat. just before we leave. If Pop comes maybe he can see Jr. march which is a really great sight!


Thursday Aug. 5, 1943

8:30 p.m.

It’s now 9:05 p.m.


Dear folks,

Back once more at the end of the day. I got to bed by 10 last night. I was up at 5:15 and dressed. It started to storm during the night and was still raining so we didn’t go out for reveille. I shaved and cleaned my teeth, made my bed and swept before breakfast. For breakfast I had scrambled eggs, potatoes, toast, butter, shredded wheat, milk, and a banana. After eating I lay down until 7 when we went to Chem. Another chapter to read for Tues. and a test on Sat. We also have a Physics test on Sat. and tomorrow night we have to sing. At 8:00 we went to Military. We have a new Lt. and he appears to be an improvement over the jerk we did have. We have 2 pretty fair officers now. We worked on map reading again. At 9 we went to Physics lab and did an experiment on tension and stretching of wire. I got the experiment done but didn’t have time to finish the problems as usual. At 11 we went to dinner. I had meat loaf, beets, beans, salad, bread, butter, milk and pie (berries of some sort). After eating I stretched out again for a few minutes until 12 when we went to study until 2. I read my English and started on rewriting my theme. At 2 we had Geography and we get a test there next Tues. At 3 we went back to study and I finished rewriting my theme – The copy you have here [Titled “Electrolytic Production of Aluminum,” it is enclosed, but I’ll just leave it to be scanned]. At 4 we went to the auditorium to practice singing for tomorrow night. It was better than spending the hour drilling. We got back in time to grab our mail and head for chow. I got 3 letters today – your Sat.-Sun., Mon., and even the Tues. letter a day ahead of time. For supper I had potatoes, carrots, sliced toms, biscuits, butter, milk, and cherries. My pen just ran out of ink so I’m using Freese’s Eversharp & blue ink as you can see. After supper I came back and read my mail. Then at 6 I went over to the Union and got a small tablet. I have a stack of little envelopes I want to use up. Then I had a milk shake and came back to the barracks or dorm. At 7 we went to study. I started to write my final copy of my theme. I decided to change it here and there and finally finished at about 8:30. I started this but 3 or 4 of us got tangled up in a physics problem and that lasted until 9. Now I’m in late study writing this. I think I’ll head for bed after I finish this. I can read history over the weekend. I won’t try to answer your letters tonight. I don’t see why my laundry didn’t get there as I surely sent it but maybe you got it on Wed. Now as far as me complaining about my eyes, I shall certainly make it clear that my eyes become strained and that I have occasional headaches due to this if I ever get a reexamination. I shan’t try to make it sound good. Don’t worry. But as for complaining about my eyes bothering me, I thought of that long ago but decided against it. You see if I complained about studying bothering my eyes it would be only too simple a matter to remedy it by putting me back in the field where I wouldn’t have to read. I’ll stay here as long as I can rather than go back to the real army. Discharges are few & far between. Latest report is Henk [?] is still on the fence and that clipping you sent seems to sound the same way. I have no plans of a discharge even if G.I. could use me. As far as clerical work, as the clipping said, I imagine that’s a lot of noise. How many L.S. men can do clerical work? I was lucky in that I had a limited L.S. job in Frisco but most L.S.’ers aren’t so fortunate. It’s up to powers greater than I but I’m not planning in the least on it. That way I won’t be disappointed. See? All I am counting on is my furlough and I better get it or I’ll take it anyway. Well maybe I would. Well good night and love. I’ll be seeing Pop before long. Well good night at 9:30 p.m.



Mixed Up Vegetables

Wednesday Aug. 4, 1943

9:10 p.m. In late study


Dear folks,

I’ve got enough work to last quite awhile but I’ve been up late every night this week and my eyes are trying to shut so I’ll dash this off and head for bed. I got to bed at about 10:30 last night and was up at 5:15. That gives about 6 ½ hrs. sleep but I guess I’m just used to more or something. I dressed and lay down til reveille. Then I came back and made my bed, swept and got my house work done before breakfast at 5:45. I had French toast, syrup, butter, shredded wheat, milk, and an orange. After eating I changed to my shorts for P.T. and then lay down again until 7. I guess you can see I snatch all the sleep I can in the morning. At 7 we went out to P.T. First we had 25 minutes or so of calisthenics. A storm had been gathering all around but nothing happened. Then instead of cross country we started running dashes today. We ran the 100 yd. first. I did it in about 12 sec. I guess but I could have done it faster maybe. Then we ran the 220 yd. dash. I decided that was too far to dash so I trotted the first 100. I was last but I ran the last ½ and passed all but 4 or 5 fellows. By then it was beginning to rain pretty hard so we gave up the 440 (1/4 mile) and they let us go at about 10 to 8. I took a shower and cleaned my teeth. Then I brushed my shoes, shined my buckle and dressed and took it easy until 9. By then it had nearly quit raining. We went to Physics at 9 and spent the hour on problems. At 10 we had English with speeches as usual. At 11 we went to dinner – meat loaf, potatoes, cauliflower, mixed up vegetables, salad, bread, butter, milk, and pudding. After eating I stretched out again until 12 when we went to Algebra class. We got our test back and I got 100 despite the one I copied wrong so I was pretty happy. He read our marks on last week’s Chem. test today in Physics. I got 93 which was better than I had hoped for. There was one 94 + one 92 beside mine. They were the 3 highest grades so my average is still above 95. She gave us some problems to do for next time. In trig. I got the last assignment back with 100 which looked much better than 80. He also gave some problems. All I can say is I’m glad I had Schneider for math and learned as much as I did. At 2 we had history. I surprised him by answering a lot of questions on stuff. I really have a good knowledge of history too but it’s a little tarnished and needs to be sanded down a little. At 3 we went to study. I jumped on to my trig. and worked on it until 4 when we went back to the dorm. I finished it and started my algebra before supper. For supper I had potatoes, cauliflower, squash, sliced toms, bread, butter, milk, and cake. After supper I finished my algebra and read on my English until 7 when we came to study. I spent most of my time there on Chem. although I got to doing limits & other equations I had at M.S.C. and got sidetracked for awhile. At 9 I came up here and finished reading my Chem. That is up to now. We have Physics & Chem. tests Sat. and Fri. night we have to go sing at a movie in the Greek theater. Nobody brought us any mail today for some unknown reason so we couldn’t have a mail call. We understand we’ll go to town Sat. morning from 8 to 9 to cash our July pay checks. I was going to send some more home but it’s only a short time now until Labor Day so I think I’ll keep it. We might not be paid Sept. 1 and I don’t want to lose any time if you know what I mean. I heard a rumor that the L.S. men are to be examined Sat. although that’s far from anything certain. I signed up for the $10,000 insurance today so you may get another policy. Well I’m going to call this thing a letter and get to bed. Except for studying Chem. & Physics, rewriting my theme, and reading Geography, History, and English, I’m in doggone good shape. Well good night and Love,


Your Son

Another Melter

They have really swell pennants here for only $1 so I’m going to get one before my furlough at least.


Thursday July 22, 1943

9:00 p.m.


Dear folks,

Another melter of a day. I just took off my shirt and pants and hung them in the window to dry out overnight. I got to bed at 9:30 last night and I really slept. I was up at 5:15. I dressed, lay down until reveille, and after reveille lay back down again until breakfast. I had 2 eggs, toast, butter, Rice Krispies, milk and 3 tiny peaches. After breakfast we hurriedly cleaned the latrine and swept the hall before class at 7. First we had Chem. lecture. Then at 8 we had a study to make up for having to go to a training film tonight. The library was full so we came back here. The Lt. has been talking to everybody with less than $10,000 insurance. I went down and he talked about it for awhile. I told him to sign me up for another $5,000. I’m tired of hearing about it everywhere I go. After Aug. 10 everybody with less than 10,000 will have to turn a written statement giving the reason. It all come about from the fact that a lot of fellows haven’t had insurance, civilians have found out and blamed the gov’t when really it was up to the soldier. So now they want us all to get the full shot. I’m tired of hearing about it. The insurance may be converted to regular life later so I suppose it’s a good investment. $6.50 a month won’t break me I guess? At 9 we went to class. Incidentally I haven’t signed for $10,000 yet so it isn’t in effect. Maybe you’ll get a new policy when I do. From 9 to 11 we had Physics Lab. We did an experiment on center of gravity. I got the experiment down, the questions answered and did almost 7 of 8 problems. I guess I got farther than most on the problems but I didn’t quite finish. At 11 we went to dinner – potatoes, spinach, carrot salad, bread, butter, milk, and jello. After dinner at 12 we went to study. I spent the time from 12 to 2 mostly on Geography. I went over the Union at the beginning of the period. I got an outline book of Physics that cost $1.25 but it looks like it may be worth it. I also picked up this stationery. I’m not out but I bought it anyway. At 2 we went to Geography. He very neatly double-crossed us by giving us a surprise test. I did better than I expected but I’m pretty much in the dark. I don’t care much for the subject. I’m hoping for maybe a 90. At 3 we had a study but the library was full so we came back here to the dorm. I spent the time on English. At 4 Freese and I went over and played 2 sets of tennis. I won 6-2, 6-2 but I sure was terrible. Then we took showers and got ready for supper. I got your Mon. letter tonight. For supper I had potatoes, spaghetti, sliced tomatoes (3 slices!), bread, butter, milk and cake. After supper Freese & I went over to the Union for awhile before going to study class at 7. I spent the time 7 to 8 studying Trig. for a test tomorrow. At 8 we had 2 training films on keeping secrets secret. Then at 15 to 9 we came back here. I’m getting to bed early tonight again. I still don’t know about a theme for tomorrow. He didn’t assign a subject & I hate to write on a wrong subject yet we are supposed to write one a week. I haven’t any written. Well its 5 min. to lights out. I’ll get to your letters on Sat. answered probably.


For tonight,



Mexican Donkey Curtains

Tuesday July 20, 1943

9:05 p.m.


Dear folks,

Whew! Another hot day. The temperature in study tonight was 90 degrees and the humidity 74 %. They have graciously consented to let us unbutton our top button and loosen our tie in study hall. Now ain’t that nice of them.

I got to bed at about 10:30 again last night and was up at the first note of the bugle at 5:15. I can be sleeping soundly but the minute it blows I’m on my feet. I dressed and lay back down til reveille. After reveille I lay down again for awhile, then swept before breakfast. I had French toast, syrup, toast, butter, Rice Krispies, milk & grapefruit. After breakfast I made my bed and got ready for class. From 7 to 8 we had chem. lecture. From 8 to 9 we had military, on equipment this time. Then from 9 to 10 we had a physics lecture. From 10 to 11 we had a study period. I had finished my physics problems in lecture so I worked on Trig. At 11 we beat it back to dinner – spaghetti, beans, salad, bread, butter, milk and graham cracker pudding and orange drink. After dinner at 12 we went to study again until 2. I signed out and went to the Union to the store. I got some notebook paper and a card to send Nate showing the Union. He’s written 3 times without an answer so I dashed off a line on the card. I also bought a shirt. It reminds me some of your Mexican Donkey curtains. There were washing instructions, which I am sending along to you. I think I’ll wait and let you be surprised at what it’s like when you see it. Shucks! Now I can’t find the instructions but its’ the old story, iron on the back, etc. I came back to the library and spent the time on English. From 2 to 3 we had geography. He goes so fast I get about half of the stuff in my notes and he says we’ll have to go faster. Yi. From 3 to 3:30 we had a short study. Then we got rid of our books and fell out to drill. It was a beautiful day to drill. The humidity only about 75 % and the temperature not over 95 degrees I think. Oh boy what fun. We drilled til 4:30 and had quite a lot of real drilling too. Our outfit is pretty sharp. We are the best. It’s because the boy in command is really on the ball. At 4:30 we quit. I took a shower before supper. I got no mail today. I usually don’t on Tues. At 5:15 I went to supper – potatoes, dressing, peas, salad, pickles, bread, butter, milk, and cherry dessert! After eating I put new laces in my shoes that were repaired and tried to shine them but they won’t even begin to shine for some reason. At 6, I went over to the Union and had a chocolate soda with a roommate [one of the many (e pluribus unum)]. At 7 we went to study hall. I cleaned up my Trig. and then did my History. That took til 9:05 when I started this. 3 of us, Freese, I, and a fellow from St. Louis Mich. are 3rd floor latrine orderlies for the next week. That will take our time mornings but we leave at 7 and nearly everybody else on that floor goes at 8 so it won’t do much good to clean it up. They are having a tennis tournament starting next Mon. So far about ½ dozen of the sharp boys have signed up. I’d sort of like to although I wouldn’t stand a chance. Still one never knows till he tries. The big fault is I’m out of practice and these G.I. clod hoppers slow a person down. Maybe if I see some of the other guys in my category signing up I will too. We have til Fri. night. I can beat 1 or 2 maybe. Just about everybody plays. Well that is the story for today, I believe, so I’ll call it Finis Diei (I hope that’s right for “end of the day”).




And With That Bit of Corn…

Monday July 12, 1943

5:50 p.m.


Dear folks,

Another day and I hear we’ll get our checks tonight. It’s about time. We’ll be due for another pay in about 2 ½ weeks. I read history last night until about 20 to 11. I covered about 45 pages and he covered 20 in class today so I didn’t gain a lot I see. I got too sleepy to study and [any] more so I came back and got to bed. 5:15 came I regret to say. I got up, dressed, and lay down til reveille. After reveille I smoothed out my bed, swept and then lay down until breakfast. I had potatoes, Rice Krispies, toast, butter, milk, and grapefruit. After breakfast I changed to fatigues and at 7 we went to P.T. We had our 20 minutes calisthenics and then played volleyball for about an hour. Then came the 1 ½ miles again. The whole gang were slow today. I was up in the first 4 or 5 for about a mile but I developed a side ache and walked about half of the distance. Then I made it in 12 minutes flat. After that I took a shower, dressed and at 9 went to Physics Drill. We had 6 problems to do and hand in. For some reason I got them all done and right I think. Every once in awhile I see a little daylight. From 10 to 11 we had English and discussed a couple stories. I have a theme for Friday. Wed. we have to give an impromptu talk on some subject which we won’t know about until then. That helps because I can’t prepare for it and I don’t feel conscious of not doing it. At 11 we came back to dinner – potatoes, gravy, beans, salad, bread, butter, milk, and jello. At 12 we went back to class. I got my Algebra test back and got 100. I just got my check and its all there – $93.50. I guess I’m the only one who got all he had coming by the kicks I’m hearing. In Trig. I got my last assignment back with 100 but it isn’t a test. In History we had the usual dull hour. From 3 to 4 we had study. I finished my algebra I started in Trig. and also did my Trig. That leaves about 80 pages of Geography to study for a test tomorrow and I haven’t read any of it before. I have 3 study hours before the test tomorrow so that will help. At 4 I came back and lay down to rest until mail call. I got your Thurs. and Friday letters and ones from Lillis and Dick H. I read yours and then went to supper – spaghetti, salad, peas, bread, butter, fruit juice, milk, and for desert peanut butter between crackers. After eating I read my other letters and then started to write this. It’s 6:20 now. I’m beginning to get the tennis urge. Whenever I sit here I see kids playing tennis across the road. Freese plays too and we may buy a couple of moderately priced rackets and start playing. All I need is shoes. I wonder if you could stick in my old blue shoes sometime. I think I might be able to get my feet in. It would save a lot of shoe scrubbing. It’s up to you though. Thanks for the $2. I’d rather you hadn’t sent it and wanted to get along without help but its O.K. and I appreciate it a lot. Thanks. When I get this check cashed I’m getting rid of most of it. $18 + the 4 I have ought to last til Aug. 1 easily. I figure on sending $75. You know what I want done with it. Now to your letters. Thurs. July 8 – Those pictures are swell and if you don’t care I’ll keep them. Babe looks cute and old Beech St. looks good too you can bet. So Jim gets it too. You must have a pretty fair garden after all. I remember the 4th, 1942 and I told the fellows I wish I could be where I was last 4th. I’ve just about quit on writing to everybody. Maybe I’ll get in the groove Sat. and write. A milk shake is a couple scoops of ice cream, a cup of milk maybe and flavor all whipped up. If they are made right I like them. The shoes are on the way. I always heard how tough it was to work thru college. If I get back I don’t intend to work but then I’ll probably do the same. Detroit is only 1 ½ games out of 1st place now. I have plenty of faults but I like myself too. I’m human (I hope). I was thinking if I did get my furlough it would be nice if Pop could come down then and that way I could go back with him and I’d have more time with some of my folks. Of course that’s just a thought. Yes we may be here 9 months (if we don’t flunk). From basic we may go to Massachusetts or some eastern school, maybe even Mich. Do you really consider Marie & Laura highly educated? I’m not the only one who sends his laundry home by any means so don’t worry. If I didn’t take a shower after P.T. I’d be pretty sour smelling to go to class. Our shirts smell in 2 days as it is. I meant the years from 20 to 30 shape ones life. By 42 to 52 he is on his path and going along. If you’ll look back you’ll see I think that all the foundations were laid between 20 and 30 weren’t they. You were married, I made my appearance and Pop got started off on his job. That’s just an idea of mine of course. Aunt Lillis mentioned raspberries there. That hits your Thurs. letter I guess.

Back at 7:05 in study. I’ll finish this and then take off on my Geography. I just heard we get issued our 8th service command patches tomorrow so we’ll have an insignia again. It won’t signify any branch just the area where we’re stationed. Its blue & white [sketch] sort of like that. Now to your Fri. letter. We cash our checks Thurs. morning. That poem is right on the ball, in the groove, on the beam so to speak. Ordinarily we wouldn’t be paid in the middle of the month but we needed it. A cake might be the worse for wear when it got here as it would be hard to keep from bouncing. We can study until 11:30 if we want to in the class rooms. I have no expectations of flunking but I expect a few C’s and the rest B’s with one or two A’s maybe.  We get bananas oftener now too. That covers the main points in your letters I hope. That picture of the snow and the ones of Babe really made me feel good. It seemed as if I could almost touch her and the old maple tree. I’ll keep them with the big one of her and the one of us at our vacation lunch near Petoskey, I think. The one of you and dad is in the frame in my locker. That just about covers the situation I guess. I’ll have to do some sewing now to put my patches on unless I send them to you to do but I haven’t enough shirts for that and they’ll have to be on by Sat. probably for inspection It will seem good to have some sort of insignia again. I see most fellows left their patches on their O.D.’s. Mine are in the pockets. I may as well send them home. I bought them. You have one already. We can still wear piping on our hats but I never had any on my suntan. I tried to buy one with red down here but it wasn’t my size, so neither has piping. My O.D. hat still has the red on it and my crossed cannons are on my blouse yet. The colonel has written a song for us and we have to learn and sing it. Wow. Is it corny. It smells. It’s to the tune of “America the Beautiful.”


We’re going to be the Engineers

Who make things pos-si-ble

We’ve got to learn our A B C’s

And get things in our skull


America, America

You need us that we know

We’ll do our bit – don’t throw a fit (whew!)

Just give us time we’ll grow.


And with that bit of corn I’ll quit for tonight. One guy got heck from the Luie for writing so I’ll quit before he sees me. For tonight love and take it easy.



A Pain in the Neck

Sunday July 4, 1943 [“4” is a firecracker]

8:10 p.m.


Dear folks,

Here I am in study at the end of another weekend. I don’t know how much I’ve accomplished but I’m tired of studying so I’m writing this for awhile. I’ve studied pretty steady all day except for meals and about two hours. Last night after I finished your letter I wrote a card to M.S.C. to give them my address and a very short letter to Aunt Marie. Then I took them down to the post office at about 7:30 and went on to the show. I saw a newsreel which showed the Memphis Belle airplane, a short about Nevada, another short about odd people, a cartoon and “Mister Big” a picture with lots of music and jive and stuff. It was pretty good. After the show I had a milk shake. I got back about 10:10 and read Chem. until lights out at 10:30. I got up at 7 for breakfast – cheese on toast, egg, toast, butter, rice krispies and milk and muskmelon. After breakfast I went to work on my physics lab book and the experiment. I worked from 8 until after 11. Then I worked on History until dinner. For dinner I had potatoes, gravy, dressing, beets, bread, butter, milk and more canteloupe. After eating I went back to the History until close to 2 o’clock. Then I took two hours off to go to a show. I saw a newsreel, a cartoon and “Coney Island” in Technicolor with George Montgomery and Betty Grable. It was another musical and it was pretty good. It’s sort of like back home to chisel out a movie on Sunday only I used to go at night after my work was finished. I got back at 4:15 and swung into Physics on Dynamics. I read that until supper and after supper until I finished the chapter. I get parts of it but most of it is over my head. I had dressing, asparagus on toast, corn, bread, butter, milk and cake for supper. At 7:30 we came over here. I still don’t understand the Physics but I’ve read it and I hope it will clear up when we get into it in lecture. If they’d use English instead of Greek it would help. This a2=a1+oct (omega 2 = omega 1 + alpha t) is a pain in the neck. My work is in pretty fair shape. I have a little more chem. to read (it’s pretty easy so far thank goodness) and a geography test coming up for Tues. I can do that tomorrow night. So I guess I haven’t done too badly. I may not have done really an awful lot but except for the two shows I’ve been behind a book most of the time. I imagine you folks are up there yet. It’s been nice and hot here although a little cloudy around the horizon at times. For some reason I can’t think of much to write tonight. I didn’t do much to write about and I have no letter to answer. I didn’t send any laundry this week but I expect to next week along with a lot of junk and my shoes maybe. I haven’t much accumulated as yet except socks. I hear it costs the gov’t from $4 to $5 a day to keep us here so I guess I’ll have to give them their money’s worth. I still wish I were paying for my own education. We are supposed (we hear now) to get a choice of where we go so far as is possible. If I ever get a choice you know what it will be. It sounds now as if we’ll be here for 36 weeks or all 3 basic terms (if we stay). I really haven’t been able to decide just what the percentage of flunks will be. Maybe it will be pretty low after all. Well this is a heck of a letter and it probably looks as if I’m not taking much interest but I can’t seem to find much to write about. So for this time I’ll quit at 9:15.




Sherbet Ice Cream is Usually a Little Watery

Happy Birthday


Monday June 28, 1943

12:30 noon


Dear folks,

Back once more. After I finished your letter last night I wrote a card to Aunt Edna to answer her letter. Then I took a shower and got to bed at about 10:40. I was up at 5:15 and dressed for reveille at 5:30. When we came in I slept until 6:45. Then I went to breakfast – fried egg, potatoes, toast, butter, shredded wheat, milk and an orange. After breakfast I made up my bed and shaved. Then I changed to fatigues for Phys. Training. We played volleyball until about 9:10. It began to rain hard so we quit. I took a shower and put on clean socks & underwear and my suntans. We went to Military at 10. We spent the hour on Army Organization again. From 11 to 12 in English we had more talks. On Wed. we will write a theme in class. I think I’ll write on what I did in the army before I got here. At 12 we hurried back here to eat. I had steak, potatoes, gravy, beans, raw carrots, bread, butter, milk and pudding. Now I’m back here. It’s still rainy so I guess we’ll have to carry our raincoats. I expect your Thurs. & Fri. letters tonight. You are up to date to 12:40. See you later.

Back at 6:45. I wrote a card to Cpl. Johnson in Frisco. At 1 we went to class. We had Physics Lab from 1 to 3. They gave us an experiment about which we knew nothing. I worked out a method but it wouldn’t check. Finally we found we’d been weighing a clip that was not supposed to be. I was right but the instructor didn’t act as if he knew what it was all about. I have to finish the writing up and figuring for the experiment for next Monday. They seem to toss us into the middle of things without any explanation. Physics isn’t hard if its’ taught right. From 3 to 4 we had History. That’s never very exciting. 10 pages to read for Wed. From 4 to 5 we had study. I worked on the physics experiment but these study periods go pretty fast when one has something to do. We came back here and I shined my shoes that were repaired, put in laces, and cleaned the ones I’m wearing. At mail call I got your Thurs. and Fri. letters. I read them up until chow time. For supper I had potatoes, carrot, beans, beets, bread, butter, milk and cake. Now I’m here writing. I have Geography to study tonight and also Physics and Chem. if I get around to it. I can stay til 11:30 but it cuts off a lot of sleep. Now while I’m waiting to go to study I’ll answer your letters. We have a new order not to play any instruments in the barracks. It is aimed at the kid who plays the accordion. I wonder about radios too. Your Thurs. June 24 – I’d just as soon have tan hankies also. Some fellows get breaks on furloughs. If I had stayed in Calif. I wouldn’t have gotten one much sooner if any. The gen’l service men were just getting theirs after 10 months. All of them that were left + about 50 L.S. men were ahead of me. He’s out of uniform with a white shirt & suntan pants. I’m going to do my best on this work but I’m not going to run myself into the ground studying. The interest isn’t here if you know what I mean. Oh I’ll get good grades I rather imagine but as yet I don’t even know what I’ll get out of all this. Maybe when I get it I won’t want it. Nate will probably be put in school. An apprentice seaman is the same as a private. I haven’t stayed up any to write or study yet. I had my way but it was too slow for this. There isn’t that much time. If you ever saw the rush at mail call you’d see why we write every chance we can. My roommate has been wondering why he didn’t get any mail but tonight you should have seen him when he got 10 letters. One of the fellows smokes but not much. I’ve never seen them drunk but they may drink. I may send my bag home sometime. The new shoes fit swell. You hang on to my good watch for awhile yet at least. This one is still struggling. Lomax works for Buerrman Marshall over there by Stachel’s according to the clipping you sent. I thought he was over 16. Julius will be 20 on Thurs. Your garden doesn’t sound so healthy. I’m not spending much time writing to Bernice or any one else.

Now your Fri. June 25 letter – Don’t worry about the W.A.A.C.s. That won’t affect you a bit so forget it. It’s not a gov’t order yet. So forget it on your birthday. You should read the clippings you send and see where it said for those interested. I wrote a theme in the 9A about Mrs. C’s backyard. Sherbet ice cream is usually a little watery. We’ve all had all we want of the army but we will get more and more and more before we are thru. I guess that covers most of the 2 letters I got today so I’ll quit to go to study at 7:25.

Back at 9:50. I came over here to study and spent the 2 hours reading about 30 pages of Geography. I stayed on and worked on a physics problem. I got part of it finished but it is a little off. I’m quitting now and going back. I’m going to get my sleep just as long as I can because I expect to have to stay up later eventually. Tomorrow night I’ll have to plan my theme. This isn’t much of a letter but I’ve cut them to just short sentences mostly. Until tomorrow good night and since this should come on Thurs. I hope your birthday is the happiest it can possibly be. I had hoped it might be different but I guess not. Good night and love,



Here Comes Scottie

Saturday June 19, 1943

9:45 a.m.


Dear folks,

Here comes Scottie [This may be a reference to the smaller notebook paper he is writing on.]. Now I’ll see how my letters compare in length with yours. Last night after I quit writing I shaved and took a shower. I shaved in the latrine in order to keep my sink clean and also so I wouldn’t have a light on in my room. I didn’t have a mirror but I didn’t need it. When I finished my shower, cold water, lights were out so I quietly got to bed. I was up at 5:45 this morning. I dressed before reveille. When we got back in we made our beds, swept and dusted and got things in order before breakfast. For breakfast I had potatoes, scrambled eggs, w.w. toast, butter, jam, Rice Krispies, milk and an orange. After breakfast I put on my clean set of suntans, my clean tie, and the underwear you just sent. I brushed off my shoes and waited. We were to be ready for inspection by 8:00. At about 8:45 I took some papers over to Hdqs. Then I came back and waited some more. Finally we had the inspection at about 9:30. They didn’t find anything wrong with the room. He did seem to think my G.I. belt was a little worn. For all the work I put on the room, they hardly looked at it. They didn’t even look into the closets. We even had to button the flies on our pants hanging in the closet. I think we were well prepared but they really didn’t do much inspecting. It’s sort of disappointing but if I hadn’t cleaned it up they would have been sure to look. Now I’m writing while I wait for the next move. They have us assigned to sections so we may register for classes this morning or afternoon. Classes may start Monday. Also we start getting up at 5:15 which is very bad. Also the other company is getting a 3rd set of suntans for the men so maybe we will too. I have a set of O.D.’s, my G.I. suntan pants, the shirt I bought, a tie, and a belt to send to the cleaners. I also have to try to get that shirt. If I could I’d send the one I bought home because I know they’ll never get it clean. I’ve worn it 11 days so you can guess what the collar is like. I wore an already tied tie for inspection today. It’s like the ones I used to wear that Aunty sent only tan. I don’t like it too well. I’d rather have the regular kind. I’ve got to get one or two more. I lost that one G.I. so I only have one. It has to go to the cleaners because it’s nearly black. My cleaning bill will be $1.20 this week. I didn’t send any laundry out. All I have is 4 prs. of socks, 3 towels, a wash cloth, 2 shorts and 1 shirt. I may rinse them out myself or wait and send them to you to wash. Whenever you send don’t bother about Spec. Del. because it doesn’t make enough difference. It did in Calif. but not here. While I’m waiting for developments I’ll answer your letter of Tues. June 15 which I got yesterday.

Back at 6:15. This has been a fairly busy day. I didn’t get in to mail any laundry but I didn’t have much anyway. We had to fall out so I quit writing. We got bunks for our rooms so we changed to fatigues and brought them in. It was a nice job to carry a wooden double deck bed up to the third floor and it was terribly hot today. We got rid of our canvass cots and made our beds. I got the top one. This bed making is a waste of time. The top sheet and blanket have to be folded back so its 24 inches from the head and the fold is 8 inches wide. The pillow is 4 inches from the fold. I finally got mine made. I think I’ll sleep on top and cover up with one of my G.I. blankets so I won’t have to make it up every day. When I finished I put my suntans back on and sorted my laundry. I had 4 prs. of socks, 3 hankies, 3 towels, 2 shorts, a shirt, a belt and my gloves packed in that busted shoe box. About that time the mail boy brought me a letter, your Wed. one and said I had a box downstairs. I didn’t know what it could be because I hadn’t heard another one was coming. I got it and signed for it and was I surprised and happy. I gave a hasty look thru it and had to fall out for announcements and dinner. For dinner I had steak, potatoes, gravy, corn on the cob, salad, bread, butter, milk and bananas fixed with some sort of custard. It was good. I hurried back and read your letter and looked to see what I really had Oh boy. I really didn’t ask for you to buy all of that. I just listed the things I needed. You sure went over the top on that. All I can say is thanks but I still think I better pay for it when I get paid. I hate to have you use that other money. I’ll leave it up to you though. The 3 shirts at 38 are just O.K. I haven’t tried the T shirts but they look as if they will fit O.K. They are what I’ve been wanting. When I take off my shirt to play, I won’t get burned too much although my back seems to be tanning and not burning this year. I’ve taken it very slow. Wow those shorts really have color but 69 cents is awful. I remember that 3rd pair too. The socks are swell. I now have 22 pairs so I guess I’ll make it O.K. Day before yesterday I had 8. The short ones I’ll use for dress, the 2 brown and 2 white pairs. The 4 pairs of khakis are almost identical to G.I.’s. Maybe I can turn them in for salvage when they are worn out. G.I. stuff can be turned in for new. The 3 prs. of white ones feel like they will be very good at absorbing sweat. The only thing is they will soon be stained brown but maybe not if I wear them one day only. The pair of sweat socks are almost identical to G. I.’s and are just the thing. Boy was I glad over those 2 ties. This cheap one I got in Frisco isn’t much good. I don’t know how you did so well but they are the nearest to a G.I. tie I have seen yet. I tried to find some in various places but they were all too thin. Those are just right and I’ll surely make good use of them. I sweat under my chin and they get dirty in no time. The candy bars were O.K. despite the heat and 3 of them are no more. The shoe laces are already in my oxfords so you see I am glad for every bit of it and I sure do thank you. That was real service but it must have cost doggone near 10 bucks altogether. At 1 we fell out, those of us who have but 2 sets of suntans and we went after more. I got another set. I got new pants but the shirt is used. It is one someone has lost thru the laundry. It is minus a button at the collar. It isn’t in bad shape though and I am glad to get the 3rd set. That simplifies matters a lot and with your contribution the picture is looking much better. I had to fall out again at 2:15 or so to go register for classes. That took until 4. I was surprised at our schedule. I had expected to be shoved a lot of math, chem., physics and technical stuff. We’ll have plenty of that but here’s my schedule as it stands –

Military (drill & class work) Mon., Wed. & Fri. 10 to 11, Thurs. 4 to 5 and Sat. at 1:30

Phys. Training – Mon. Wed. & Fri. 8 to 10

Algebra – Tues., Thurs. & Sat. 8 to 9

Geography (here’s a surprise) – Tues. & Thurs. 2 to 3

Trig. – Tues., Thurs. & Sat. 9 to 10

Physics Lecture – Tues. & Thurs. 11 to 12

Physics Lab – Mon. 1 to 3

Physics Lab Drill (recitation I guess) Tues., Wed. & Thurs. 1 to 2

Chem. Lecture – Tues. & Thurs. 10 to 11

History – Mon. Wed., Fri. 3 to 4

English – Mon. Wed., Fri. 11 to 12

The Geography, History and English really surprised me. It seems more as if we will get a general course than a too highly specialized one. It looks pretty good to me even if I don’t care for the English. My day is going to be full from 8 a.m. on. Whenever we have a free hour and from 7 to 10 at night we have supervised study. Lights out will be at 10:30 and bed check at 12 so I can chisel extra time if I need it. I heard what term 2 is getting and I’m glad I’m here in I. They get Analytic and Descriptive Geometry both. I think we have too much physics and not enough chem. but then I guess I shouldn’t complain. After we got back from registering I took my cleaning – O.D. shirt and pants, suntan pants & shirt and tie – $1.10 – over and left it. I inquired about my lost shirt but they were busy and I had to get back for a formation at 4:30. We fell out and the Lt. cautioned us about being nice little boys while in town. As soon as it was over I beat it over to the field house. I was tired of not getting anyplace so I asked just how long I’d have to wait before I got a shirt or my shirt. They hunted thru all they had. None was mine. They had one which no one had claimed for a long time so the gave it to the air corps supply sergeant in exchange for one in my size, The ones in my size were new so I finally got it straightened out and I got a new sport model shirt. Mine was new too so its’ a good exchange. I now have 3 sets of G.I. suntans plus the shirt I bought myself. I sent it to the cleaners. I don’t think there is so much chance of losing things thru the cleaners. I marked all my stuff very plainly. With 4 shirts & 3 prs. of pants I guess I’ll do fine. I came back here and spent the time before supper rolling my new socks and putting my new stuff you sent into my foot locker. I took my dirty clothes out of the box and put them in my barracks bag. I threw away the busted boxes and waste paper and put my laces in my R.O.T.C. shoes before supper. When I went down I found a letter from Lillis from Stanford like I found the card from Aunt Edna last night. I read it while I ate – potato salad, beans, celery, carrots, w.w. bread, butter, milk, and cake. Then I came back here and finished taking care of all my junk. I then put on my new shoes and boy are they nice. The last two days have been pretty swell for me. I’m clear again I guess so maybe I can start classes Monday in a better spirit. I’m latrine orderly until tomorrow noon. I looked at it once or twice. I’ll clean it in the morning. I want to send my laundry home but it sort of has me puzzled. You see I won’t get thru until about 3 on Saturdays. I don’t know whether the post office will be open by the time I get in. Then again I have nothing to pack it in. Can one send parcel post with postage C.O.D. or collect? Do you know? Anyway I’ll see if I can’t get in early next week. Today has been busy and sort of exciting. I hope I get along O.K. and I think I will. We are free now to go anywhere within 15 miles of Fayetteville until 6:30 Sun. night. As soon as classes start we’ll have study periods from 7 to 10. Then when do I write letters I’m wondering. I’ll have to get caught up tomorrow. I have letters from Kircher, 2 from Amelia, Mrs. C., Dick H., Lillis and a card from Edna to answer. I still haven’t answered your Tues. letter or Gram’s and now I have the Wed. letter. I’ll try to get them done tomorrow. We probably won’t have a mail call tomorrow. I doubt if this will be picked up until Mon. but I’ll mail it anyway. I’m quitting now at 7:15. I think I’ll go into town and maybe take in a show if it looks good. So for tonight Thanks and love from




Tuesday June 15, 1943

12:05 noon


Dear folks,

I’ll write while I wait for dinner. Last night after I wrote to you, I wrote short letters to Julius and Bart. That took up pretty close to 10 o’clock so I quit and went to bed. I was up at 5:45 this morning. I dressed and made up my bed before reveille. After reveille I came back and we cleaned the room before breakfast. Breakfast was creamed dried beef on toast, potatoes, Krumbles, milk, toast, butter and prunes. I couldn’t mail the letters in the box this morning because the box was so full the lid wouldn’t open. One of my roommates mailed them after the mail was collected I guess so it got a bad start. After breakfast I came back and got about ½ hour cat nap before we fell out at 8. We had some announcements and then came back and changed to fatigues for drill. We drilled off and on from 8:30 to 11 in squads, platoons, and as a company. I drilled the squad some and they didn’t run into any walls. Each of us took turns. It’s hot today but there is a stiff wind blowing and it’s not so noticeable. We had several long breaks this morning. We are no longer restricted to quarters. After supper evenings we can now walk around the campus. They are going to show us the limits. We don’t know about weekends. They are talking about letting us go one week and the air corps the next. I don’t care too much. All I’d do would be go to a show on Sat. night anyway. We can have visitors from 7 to 8 at the Union on Mon. and Wed. evenings. I can’t see anything to that. There’s nothing to stop us from talking to people anyplace on the campus that I know of yet. Tonight at 7 we have to go to the Greek Amphitheater and practice singing. You see the air corps boys sing all the time. We tried it but it was lousy, so now we practice at night. Pooey. We quit drilling at 11 and I came up here and washed some and changed to suntans. Then I took a little bunk fatigue until mail call. Bunk fatigue is stretching out on one’s bunk and closing his eyes peacefully. I got your Fri. June 11 letter p.marked June 12 at 10 a.m. Chow call.

Back at 12:55. I read your letter and the clippings. Then I wrote until dinner time. Dinner was spaghetti, some kind of squash, salad, w.w. bread, butter, milk and cake. Now I’m back writing again. We’ll probably fall out pretty soon. I hear we are going to play games all afternoon. I don’t know what kind of  a student union they have here but maybe I can get some writing paper and stuff there if I go over tonight. The one we had at M.S.C. was swell and probably better than most schools have. Now to your Fri. June 11 letter – I see Ray Davis is a corporal now. Well he didn’t do any better than Hugh but he has about 6 times as much mouth and self importance. It would have been swell if I could have seen a graduation at M.S.C. with all its trimmings. Of course it won’t be as usual this year but maybe it will be before too long. I don’t ride on trucks very much and I never have ridden that way. What were they, 1 ½ ton trucks? You see what suntan uniforms look like anyway. If I can’t get a set here I may have you buy me some pants 32 waist, 33 long, shirt 15-34. I got that $2 bill in change someplace. I thought the card was cute and sort of to the point.  We wore plastic helmets at McCoy over our green wool caps when we drilled with rifles. I was a squad leader at McCoy. Three squads usually make up a platoon. The doctor didn’t say anything about my throat or eyes. He just asked what my vision was. I’ve got to clean out this pen again by the looks of things. I’ve never had a real hike. My longest was 7 miles. Regular outfits get 20 to 25 miles with full pack, rifle, and steel helmet. Nobody criticized me about commanding. Maybe there is no sulphur in coal smoke but something blackened and tarnished my buttons. I know what it is to dig in and work and I can do it but whether that will get me anywhere here or not is hard to tell. Marks may not determine whether we stay or not. At the end of the term, probably a certain percent will be reassigned as corporals and T/5’s various outfits, others will go to O.C.S., still others will go back.

Back at 5 to 9. I fell out for announcements and then we walked all around the campus so we can see where we can and can’t go. The theater is about 75 feet off limits. Then we came back and changed to fatigues. We fell out at 3 and I played volleyball until 4:30. Then I came back and shined my shoes a little, shaved, took a shower and put on my suntans. We got a small talking to about this and that before supper. They had an inspection this afternoon and I guess all was not so good. For supper I had onions, salad, meat loaf, potatoes, milk, bread, butter and ice cream. Then I beat it over and stood in line about 45 minutes to get my laundry. I got it and right away I saw I was minus. I brought it back and opened it but had to leave for formation. We went over to the amphitheater and sang for an hour. I walked from there to the Union and got an ice cream cone and came back here to check my laundry. It was worse than I thought. First of all I turned in 7 hankies. There are 2 columns on the list. One for my count and one for the laundry. They said on the list that I turned in only 4 by their count so I got 4 back. I wasn’t going to kick too much. One was a white G.I., another was a green one with an A, and I don’t remember what the 3rd was. The rest of the list corresponded O.K. but when I counted the stuff on the inside I was minus 1 tan shirt, my G.I. web belt and that white wash cloth with the lavender edge. They wrote on the list that the hankies weren’t there but the other stuff was supposed to be there. So tomorrow night I’m going to file a complaint. I’ve probably got 1 chance in 25 of getting the stuff back. If I get the shirt I’ll be happy. You see I sent in 3 shirts, my 2 and one for another fellow. I got 2 back, they’re both my size but one is his because his were the new heavy gabardine kind. I’ve had all I want of the Fayetteville laundry. If you think we can make a go of it I’m willing to try Ma Forist’s Laundry. At this rate I won’t have any clothes left by a month’s time. If I send my shirts, pants and ties to the cleaners, I can either try to do the rest myself or send it to you. I’ve got to get the shirt. I can get along without the other stuff if I have to. Boy what a mess. It makes me feel disgusted, mad, and everything else. Now I didn’t get these in to the cleaners either. I’m getting sick and tired of worrying about laundry and dry cleaning and having a clean shirt.  My morale is at a new low. I’m going to kick but I’ll bet $5 I won’t get any of it back. I’m charged with the shirt. I can get another belt and some white hankies and the other stuff was my own but it’s hard to get shirts just like G.I. Well I guess I may as well quit moaning but it sure is a great setup. If I get to town Sat. I’m going to get some sort of container to put my laundry in and send to you if you’ll do it. In the meantime I’m going to try to wash out my own smaller stuff.

Well I guess I better finish answering your letter. I’ve gone back to free mail so you use 3 cent mail too. We have lots of cake and the ice cream here is really swell.

Well that’s your letter. I guess I’ve said about all there is to say today. I suppose some one could of removed stuff from my laundry while I was gone because it was open but none of the stuff was there before anyway. I thumbed  through it quick and it was just as I left it when I got back. I didn’t miss the shirt the first time but there were 2 and I sent 2. I forgot about the 3rd one. Every day I stay in this — army I wish more and more I was out. If it isn’t one thing, its 10 and when they start giving demerits for every little thing I’ll be ready to quit. I came here to study and learn not play wooden soldier. I sure hope I at least get the shirt back. I really doubt it though. Well I guess I have poured on enough gloom for one night so I’ll quit. I’ll keep you informed of developments. Keep writing,





I probably won’t get a letter tomorrow if you wrote a combined Sat. & Sun. letter.

All This Formality and Crap

Monday June 14, 1943

7:45 a.m.


Dear folks,

I’ll write until I have to fall out for something. Last night after I finished your letter I read a little. I saw a fellow going to the field house to mail a stack of letters so I gave him mine. There is a large box over there. This morning the small box here, like the one on Elm & Cedar, was jammed full and there was a Gerber baby food carton full on the ground besides. I went over to Johnny’s apartment of [for] awhile. They were having a bed check at 8 so I came back here. I read some more, and played on my harmonica for awhile. Finally I took a shower and went to bed. It thundered and lightninged a lot last night but it cleared away without raining. I woke up this morning and looked at my watch. It said 10 to 6 so I got up. The fellows were all up in the other rooms. The charge of quarters is supposed to turn on the lights in each room at 5:45 and wake them but I guess he skipped us. I dressed, splashed a little cool water in my face and smoothed out my bed before reveille. After reveille I had to tear my bed apart because instead of making it now we have to fold all the bedding and pile it up on the head of the bed. Then while the other fellow swept, I dusted and wiped off the mirror, etc. If never before, I now appreciate the value of using door nobs. All the doors are ivory and you know how fingerprints show on that. I can see that will be a daily job – washing woodwork. We fell out for breakfast at 5:45 but by the time I waited through the line and ate it was 7:30. I had scrambled eggs, toast, butter, Krumbles, milk, and an orange. Then I came back here and dusted my shoes to go under the bed. I gave a brushing to the ones I have on and we finished up the room. Fall out somebody says at 8 a.m.

Back at 10:10. I wrote on this then until 8. We fell out and were formed into platoons with our own cadet officers. Then at about 8:30 we started drilling. We marched until 9:30. Then they told us a few things and sent us back to get ready for an inspection. I have the room pretty well in order I guess so I’m writing while we wait. They say they will try to get us out next weekend. If this isn’t the screwiest deal I ever saw. There isn’t a thing to have to stay in all weekend for. We have no studying to do as yet. We probably won’t start classes till next week. Another group has just come in from Stanford. The latest Stanford group went to Ohio State. Maybe in a few days I’ll be more cheerful but they are treating us like a bunch of rookies. They tell us every time we turn around that we are all considered future officers. Maybe because as near as I can tell this is modeled on O.C.S. It’s supposed to be an organization with our own Cadet officers. Most of them are the boys who had stripes when they came. I’m not kicking because I think I should be one. I know I can’t drill a group of men. I didn’t come here for all that junk anyway. I came to study and learn but that appears to be only secondary from what I have seen or heard. We are still waiting for the inspection. It probably won’t come off like the rest. I hear there is a huge stack of mail from over the weekend. I hope I get some. Well I guess I’ll quit for awhile at 10:30.

Back at 11:45. I was reading some more dog stories when somebody yelled mail call. I thought it was a joke because mail call is supposed to be at 12:45 but I went down and there was a huge accumulation of mail from over the weekend. I got the Fri. June 4 letter and the big one – June 5-11. I also got a card from Julius which had gone from Frisco to Stanford, to here. Then there was a short letter from Bart forwarded here. He answered much better than I thought. Most fellows say they’ll write but don’t. So for the last 45 minutes or so I’ve been deep in that 28 page letter. Those letters probably came in yesterday so I can’t judge the speed very well. It’s about 2 days by air mail and from what you said free mail goes just as fast. I think we may as well use regular mail. It will cut your postage in half and erase mine. What do you think? Anyway lets both do the same. Now I’ll have some mail to answer and something to do. There still hasn’t been any inspection but we’ll probably have to play ball or something this afternoon. I still say we could just as well have had this week off because we are just passing away time until things really start. But I guess the Colonel is a little more important that I am (yet).

Julius sent a very pretty card of mountains and rivers. The mts. are about like the Ozarks – rolling and covered with trees.  He wants my address which I have already sent. He got A’s in Chem. and physics. He is taking calculus and mechanism in summer school. Evidently the army has forgotten him. I wonder how some fellows stay out so long as they do. I got a kick out of Bart’s letter. He said he was on the graveyard shift and writing to stay awake. I judged my successor rightly I guess. Bart and Haxton both wish I were back. The new fellow thinks that in 2 weeks he knows more than either or both of them. Bart says personally he doesn’t care for him. I didn’t either and I only saw him one day. The new system is in effect but he says it is harder to read than the old one. I just noticed the letter is dated April 7. He must have been pretty sleepy. He says now that I’m not there he’ll have to buy a dictionary. Bart is a funny guy in a lot of ways but I like him. He’s quiet but nobody’s dope.

Now to your letters. First Fri. June 4. – Nate won’t be out much longer. As if he were the only one who wishes the war would end. He has time for things he really wants to do the same as I had at school. I sent him this address but I won’t write unless he writes to me. Palo Alto is about 15,000 people and about a mile from Stanford. You figured out S.O.S. O.K. You got the idea. The muskmelons were pretty good. I wish I could dig into watermelons like I did last year. We had a broken one very day it seemed. When I think of the spirit I had last year and then look at myself now there’s no comparison. We have no chambermaids. This is the army! Ginger bread is O.K. I like it quite well. I haven’t had my brain crowded much yet. All we’ve had is hup, two, tree, fo,——. I think my nerves will hold up O.K. I have no bathing trunks so I was in the water without them. (Dinner at 12:30)

Back at 4:45. I went to dinner. I had spaghetti, red beans, salad, bread, butter, milk and chocolate pudding. Then I came back and put on my fatigues. At 1:30 we fell out for athletics for two hours. I played volley ball all afternoon. At 3:30 or so we came back here. I brushed half of Arkansas off my shoes and then polished them. Then I took a good shower and except for clean socks put my dirty clothes on. I should get my laundry this afternoon. Then if I send my suntan pants to the cleaners they should be back before Saturday. In that way I guess I’ll be set for inspection. Now back to your letter. Nobody laughed because I waited too long before running. They wouldn’t have made us go in with a cold. They warned us to get out if we felt chilled. There is a sick call every morning for fellows to go to if they don’t feel well. I doubt if you could get those glasses put in these kinds of frames. These are [sketch of glasses] whereas the others were [sketch of different shape glasses]. They would have to make a whole new set of glasses. I believe I would like a set with their rims for dress as you say although one feels funny when he changes. It ought to be cheaper to get those repaired than to get a new set made. I don’t think they would bother to grind the glasses to fit a different frame. Anyway I could use another pair. These probably won’t be broken but it’s a good idea to have 2 pr. just in case. If you get plastic ones they will just throw those away and it seems to me as if a new nose piece could be put on and they would be O.K. again. You do whatever seems best to you. You’re there and I’m not but let me know what it costs. See. Dad better keep his dollars. I got a good enough pennant for 50 cents. The books were issued to us free. After all it’s part of our equipment. The payroll is usually signed on the 15th. We’ve turned in our pay books and they promised us every cent we have coming up to July 1 on June 30. That will give me over 90 bucks plus whatever I’ll have left. I’d have plenty if I’d been paid. I don’t know anything about the new income tax setup but I hope I get some back. Maybe you will too. That covers the Friday June 4 letter. Lomax must be approaching 18 if you know what I mean.

I tried to go get my laundry before supper before the crowd but the C.Q. said we couldn’t go. If this isn’t the screwiest, nonsensical, downright crazy, idiotic, and moronic system I ever saw I don’t want to see any other. They treat us like a bunch of prisoners so help me.

Now to the big letter – Sat. June 5 – I’m a lot nearer home yet the mail goes no faster. You got my Tues. letter on Fri. the same as from Frisco. I guess we’re lost in the sticks. Don’t let Dad run off down here too soon. In the first place the only time I might (I emphasize might because demerits etc. could make a difference) be off is on Saturday from about 2 until 10 and Sunday from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. We can’t stay out overnight. They do in other schools but we are an exception. Then again it’s a long trip down here and I don’t know how hotel space here would be or anything like that. Train accommodations are pretty lousy now. This is undoubtedly one of the hardest places to get in and out of. Sun. June 6 – Does dad have to use ration coupons for work shoes or does he get an order from his boss. I’d rather be back in the store I think than being a soldier in civilian clothes. The big mountains aren’t between us now but some mighty punk railroads are. Dad needs a good diet and plenty of rest. Union meetings, council meetings, he really is on the go. I don’t expect to celebrate the 4th. We’ve been here a week and can’t even walk on the campus yet. I think myself that the young doctor is better. Calif. is terribly damp in spots and that isn’t good for sinus. There is no pool on the campus so I guess the swimming is out for awhile. Stanford had a really swell pool. It was better than M.S.C. I guess little George will get his share of K.P. and the rest whether he did or didn’t like it at home. I think they should put men where they are fitted. Hugh picked his job and got it.

Back at 6:50. I fell out and marched to supper. It was potato, dressing, gravy, spinach, pickled beets, w.w. bread, butter, cake and milk. After supper I signed out and went after my laundry. It won’t be back until tomorrow or Wed. If I send out this set of suntans I’m wearing so they’ll be back by Saturday I’ll have to wear wool O.D.’s and I sweat enough as it is. This shirt I’m wearing will be so dirty they’ll never get it clean. I notice a snag on the sleeve too. I guess the best thing for me to do is send them to the dry cleaners instead of laundry. They cost more but come back in 3 days or so. I think I’ll send these out tomorrow. Then I’ll wear O.D.’s for 3 days. These should be back by Sat. so I’ll have 2 clean sets and once I get started I may be able to keep it going O.K. It takes a lot of planning but if the company doesn’t come through we are up a limb. What a life. Now I’m back so I’ll go on where I left off with the letter. Now to Mon. June 7 – I’m glad you got the cards O.K. and I thought you’d like them. I don’t suppose they have them here but then they might. How do those pictures of soldiers get into the paper? Aren’t they sent in? I mean the Journal doesn’t hunt around for all that. It’s sent to them. I’ll probably like the work but I don’t like the methods. The people here have a prominent drawl and “you all” to their talk but I sort of like it. I’ll be talking the same way in a few weeks maybe. I guess Jan 2, 1943 is a date we’ll remember quite awhile but it’s not so important as some others. I guess by now I’ve answered your question if this is a warm state. I imagine though that it gets cold here in the winter. Now Tues. June 8 – I just took time out to watch the air corps boys march and sing. It must be a graduation or something. I’m glad I have seen things but I still would rather have stayed at home. So you sent the mail order out. Then maybe I’ll be getting some things in a week or so. I imagine a parcel will take 3 days. I have been thinking of that laundry idea and it doesn’t sound so bad. I could get a laundry bag (about 3 of them) to send the stuff in. That would eliminate boxes and string and stuff which I wouldn’t have. I could send it out on Sat. You’d get it Tues. Then say on the next Mon. you’d send it back. I’d have it by Fri. In the meantime I would have sent some more on the next Sat. That would make 3 bunches. If I got enough stuff I could do it O.K. I’d send my uniforms to the cleaners. You could handle underwear, socks, towels, hankies, wash cloths, fatigues, and the like. After the first week you’d be sending some to me on Monday and getting more on Tues. I’d get it on Thurs. or Fri. and send on Sat. Once it got rolling it ought to work. Maybe we’ll try it. I don’t know how the cost would run. The blimp is like the Akron and others the Navy used to have. I’ve kept the pennant flat but the one from Kansas City is a little wrinkled. I don’t play as well as I used to because I don’t keep in practice. I wonder if Walt really learned. I’ve learned a few tunes I didn’t play before. Johnny is German I believe. There is one thing wrong with him – he’s married. It doesn’t seem possible. He’s too much of a kid himself. He has a Thorens something like mine only not plastic. The way things are run around there we probably won’t get any time off at all. We could have had this week off. I never thought Miss Scott would get married. I’m glad for Walt that he could get to Illinois. I wonder if he has any stripes yet. He’ll probably get them. Wed. June 9 – That makes all the cards I sent from California. I have a bunch of cards and folders to send soon. I wrote on the train with the window curtains down and the lights on. Then I turned off the lights, closed the curtains on the berth and pulled up the window shades to look out. I never heard about the zoot suit gangs until I left Cal. I guess most of them are in L.A. They are just kids who think they are somebody because they are the oldest ones still out of the army. 160 of us came all the way from Frisco here without an officer in charge. We had just a buck sgt., one of the boys. A line to the mess hall whether it’s in a station or where is habitual in the army. Wherever we see a line after we get out we’ll automatically get on the end. I hate to think what will happen when kids blow whistles. That boat ride was I believe the smoothest ride I ever had. I compares with Mac’s hydramatic. Boy that drove smooth too. I guess I didn’t gain anything by mailing that letter in Imlay, not even a post mark. I have a lot more cards I hope you’ll enjoy. Thurs. June 10 – You should have seen the boys scratch fleas at Columbia Sq. About 2/3’s of them had fleas in their bedding. They would lay it on the grass to sun or to lie on and I think that’s where they got the fleas. I never had them bother me. Well a flag on the house too. Does it go up at reveille and down at retreat. Retreat is at 5:15 p.m. Didn’t you think I was still a kid? I always will be as long as I can. I’ll probably have to get another haircut. We are supposed to get one every week. I think I’ll get a butch and then I won’t need to bother. I was never drafted before. Next time I’ll know what to expect. If I thought there would be a next time, I believe I’d go over the hill and head for Guatemala or someplace. Fri. June 11 – Since my air mail to you and the free mail to Dad got there together I think I’ll use free mail for awhile. The service in air mail is no better than at Frisco. I sent Pop the Father’s Day card because I wanted to. It was a bit early but I guess that won’t matter too much. There. That answers your letters and catches me up thru last Thurs. and part of Fri. I ought to get another letter tomorrow unless you wrote a combined letter over the weekend. I’ll be glad when I get all my mail coming direct. Everybody has my address by now so it shouldn’t be long. I sent it out Tues. & Wed. of last week. You got mail on Fri. so by now even the farthest ones have gotten it. Tonight there was no mail call but my room mate found a letter for me at the desk. I guess there were a very few. It was from Pvt. Fred Kircher at Ft. Custer. He is at the station hospital. They’re given his leg the once over and he is going to get a C.D.D. (Disability Discharge), we call it a Section 8. You see he is a member of the E.R.C. and has to have a discharge in order to get out. I believe I’d rather be here than have the leg he must have by now. He had been there 11 days on June 5. He wants to get to summer school at Bay View June 28th. Boy what I’d give to be up there again. Even the army would be pleasant there. He mentions a P.X., Red + canteen, pianos, radios, & library so I guess he finds enough to do. 6 months after his discharge he is eligible for the draft. I can’t see that. Nate’s brother got a section 8 and is still on the loose so far as I know. That’s my mail today – 4 letters and a card. I’ll dash off letters to Fred, Julius, and Leldon (Bart – his real name is Leldon Eugene Bartlett) maybe tonight before I go to bed. We may start classes in a day or so and then I won’t have too much time to write. I guess you’ve probably noticed from my letters lately that I’ve felt a little low. Those letters from home today, especially the 28 page one helped a lot. Once we get the real work maybe it will be O.K. If you send a box please throw in a good big shoe polishing rag. Maybe I can buy one here in town but nobody knows when I’ll get there and I guess we are on the merit (mostly demerit) system now. That’s the part I’m going to like the least about this. If we’re here to learn and to specialize why throw in all this formality and crap of the old peacetime army. I’ll admit it looks good but it still wastes valuable time. I don’t know what our schedule will be but if [is] going to be tough I’m thinking without having to measure the fold on our bed and all that old foolishness.

Well I guess I’ve run down for tonight. I have 7 pages of paper left. If I write to the 3 boys tonight, it will leave me just 4 sheets. I have quite a few envelopes and a notebook so I can tear out sheets and write on that until I get some paper. They are getting some stuff for us from town tonight but I doubt if I’ll be able to get any. Well I’ll call it quits. This may be the last really long letter for awhile if classes start. Anyway we’re both caught up. Write as you always have. Take it easy.



Buck, Woody, Arkie


Just plain Son


I think I’ll save those stamps until I hear whether it will really make much difference.